Tucker Guides Bulldogs to Rivalry Win
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Whenever two close rivals battle, it will typically require one player to rise above the others to help their side win. Sam Tucker dominated in net for the Yale Bulldogs as they defeated the nationally third ranked Harvard Crimson 5-2 on Friday night.
"It was another good team win against a quality opponent," said Yale head coach Keith Allain. "Our men were strong right from the drop off the puck."
Yale (2-1-0) took a quick lead in the first period, scoring two goals only 26 seconds apart. Mitchell Smith and Robbie DeMontis combined to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead less than halfway through the first frame.
Harvard (1-1-0) responded in the second period, scoring two goals of their own in the first 5:23 of the middle stanza to tie the game.
However, Tucker took over from there, stopping 33 total shots while his offense gave him some goal support.
"(Tucker) gave us the kind of quality goaltending you need to win," said Allain.
DeMontis set up Luke Stevens only 2:32 after Harvard tied the game, giving Yale a 3-2 lead Tucker would not relinquish.
Ryan Hitchcock scored on the power-play off of a Joe Snively feed, making a nifty move to get the shot off to beat Merrick Madsen. Madsen finished with 21 saves on 26 shots in the loss for Harvard.
"I went into that shift knowing we had to get more pucks on net as a power play," said Hitchcock. "Once I saw (Snively) buy time on the wall, I tried to get into a position where he could find me. I happened to beat a guy in the middle and get a shot off through traffic that found net."
Kevin O'Neil scored a power-play goal on a breakaway late in the third period. The 5-2 lead wrapped up the rivalry win for Yale, the highest ranked team the Bulldogs have beaten since Quinnipiac University in the 2013 Frozen Four.
Eight different players picked up a point for Yale, which finished two for six on the power-play.
Filed by Andrew Weiss, Yale Sports Publicity Assistant